Sutton moved in to the Sky Bet League Two automatic promotion places with a second emphatic home win in a row against a Rochdale side who had twice the possession of U's but rarely had an end product to go with it.
The afternoon started unpromisingly for U's, who might have been behind after only five minutes when what would prove to be Rochdale's best chance of the afternoon was wasted by Alex Newby, blazing over after poor clearance from a free kick, and were then forced in to a change after only ten minutes, Kenny Davis limping off to be replaced by Harry Beautyman. However within two minutes Enzio Boldewijn finally got his name on the scoresheet in League Two with a fine free kick, and from that point U's rarely looked back, a performance of enterprise and energy amongst the best at the VBS this season.
Boldewijn had his place in the side ahead of Will Randall, who had scored twice in the defeat of Scunthorpe but had picked up a very slight knock, and his chance came when a battling run by Craig Eastmond, which should probably have been halted twice legally, was then ended illegally on the edge of the penalty area by Stephen Dooley. It was in the sort of position from which Beautyman has often scored, but only just having arrived on the pitch he left Boldewijn and Rob Milsom to organise the free kick, and from slightly left of centre it was the right footed Boldewijn who curled his shot in to the top corner of the net.
Nine minutes later U's had another free kick from similar range but more central, after Omar Bugiel had been brought down by Eoghan O'Connell, who was booked. This time Boldewijn ran over the ball and Milsom hit it, but Jay Lynch dived to his right to punch clear. Both Bugiel and Richie Bennett, starting up front together in the absence of the injured Donovan Wilson and Isaac Olaofe, sent headers wide as U's began to take control of the game, although Dean Bouzanis had to make one good save to his left from Conor Grant's low 20-yard shot, and in the second minute of five added on at the end of the first half U's were rewarded with a second goal. Again Dooley was involved, this time selling Jimmy McNulty short with a pass midway inside his own half and Boldewijn nipped in to force the ball to Bennett and then continue his run to meet a well-timed return pass and shoot low under Lynch(above).
Rochdale came close to an early second half reply when Tahvon Campbell was just unable to reach Grant's low ball across the six yard box, but they were left with an even steeper uphill task just before the hour mark when Beautyman retrieved a cleared corner and crossed to the far post. Jeriel Dorsett's misdirected header was punched clear by Lynch as far as Joe Kizzi on the edge of the penalty area, and a low shot through a crowded box gave left U's fans wondering whether, on the club's 124th birthday, he had just become the first right back to score in three consecutive games.
With U's playing confidently more goals might have followed as David Ajiboye just failed to control a wonderful long pass by Louis John, who seconds later was making the cleanest of tackles on the edge of his own box. Lynch saved brilliantly from Ben Goodliffe when the centre back met a Beautyman cross with a low volley, and then, after Boldewijn's superb run in from the left past two defenders, the keeper denied him a hat-trick with another good stop.
John came close to adding a fourth when he headed just wide from a corner, and U's were able to hand Kylian Kouassi, recalled from his loan at Chesham, ten minutes of EFL action as they saw out a convincing win, with this time the disappointment of conceding a late goal avoided as Goodliffe blocked James Ball's powerful shot near the end.
Sutton: D Bouzanis, J Kizzi, R Milsom, C Eastmond, B Goodliffe, L John, D Ajiboye, K Davis(sub H Beautyman 10), O Bugiel(sub K Kouassi 81), R Bennett, E Boldewijn(sub R Korboa 87). Subs n/u S Nelson, B Wyatt, C Rowe, W Randall. Booked: Milsom.
Rochdale: J Lynch, J Keohane(sub C O'Keefe 58), M Clark, J McNulty, J Dorsett, E O'Connell, S Dooley, J Ball, T Campbell, A Newby(sub L Charman 58), C Grant(sub L Kelly 87). Subs n/u J Coleman, G Broadbent, M Done, D Cashman. Booked: O'Connell, Dorsett.
Referee: Ben Speedie
Attendance: 2,874 (301 away).